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Wednesday 2 July 2014

Events management graduate now MMA fighter

We asked Ricardo Co, to give us an insight into BA (Hons) Event Management at Solent, what he achieved and how this has enabled his passion to start fighting in K-1 and MMA shows.

Tell us a bit about your background and how you got into sport:

Before I got into Kickboxing, I used to surf and compete in Portuguese National competitions. When I went to Southampton Solent University in 2009 to study, I decided to experiment in kick-boxing to keep active. All of a sudden, what I was calling a hobby became a serious game. Today, it is my passion.

Ricardo Co

Can you tell us about your experience so far, since graduating from Southampton Solent University?

Since I graduated from Southampton Solent University, I have been searching for a good Kickboxing coach in London to help me to turn into a professional fighter. Luckily, I found a good coach – Daniel Sam an English Super Heavyweight kickboxer. Currently, he is ranked UK number 1 in division of Thai Boxing. In addition to this, I have started training MMA (Mixed Martial Art) with Steve O’Keeffe. A former Adrenalin FC Featherweight champion and Cage Warriors Veteran.

Tell us about your awards and trophies:

In 4 years of kickboxing training, I have achieved:

  • Solent Sports Awards 2012 winner.
  • WAKO BRITISH CHAMPION 2012 (Full-Contact) – Lightweight: -60kg.
  • Solent Sports Awards 2011 winner.
  • Lightweight Round 1 winner 2011 (Low Kicks) – Lightweight: -60kg.
  • 3rd Place WAKO British Championships 2011 (Full-Contact) – Light Welter: -63.5kg.
  • Solent Sports Awards 2010 winner.
  • Nominated for Solent Sports Awards Newcomer Male 2010.
  • Lightweight National Universities Kickboxing Championships 2010 winner (Full- Contact) – Lightweight: -60kg.

You are a High Performance Academy (HPA) graduate. How has the HPA team helped you progress?

HPA had a huge impact in my development as an athlete while I was studying at Southampton Solent University. I had one-to-one strength and conditioning training, which has helped to improve to become a better kickboxer. The team provided a vehicle to participate in competitions, and to attend the WAKO GB Squad trainings in Birmingham and London.

We hear you are on the hunt for sponsorship. Can you let us know how a sponsor(s) could help you with your Kickboxing career?

Yes, I am on the hunt for a sponsorship! A sponsorship would be a huge help. It will allow me to dedicate 100% to the sport I do with passion and show my potential as a kickboxer in the ring. Currently, I have to divide my time with my job and training. I need more time to train to reach the highest level as a professional fighter.

Ricardo training.

What sporting achievements are you most proud of?

I am proud of the 3rd Place at WAKO BRITISH CHAMPIONSHIP 2011: – 63.5 kg. I was supposed to fight in my weight category – Lightweight (-60kg), but I was the only fighter in my category. I went all the way up to Birmingham not to fight after the hard preparation I had with HPA and my previous Kickboxing coach Christian Vine.

I said to myself, I have to fight in the weight category above mine. After having a conversation with the WAKO event organisers, it was agreed that I was able to fight in the category above – Lightwelter (-63.5kg). I did not win the fight, but I fought with more experienced kickboxers.

Although I had 1 year and 6 months of kickboxing training behind me at that time, I demonstrated to the crowed and my opponent that I am a tough fighter. Moreover, I am a former WAKO BRITISH CHAMPION 2012 – Lightweight: -60kg.

What is a typical training session/training day?

I train every day after work. I do 4 hours of training to compensate the time I have not trained.

My training schedule:

  • Mondays – Muay Thai /Boxing.
  • Tuesdays – Gym / Muay Thai.
  • Wednesdays – MMA / Boxing.
  • Thursdays – Gym / Muay Thai.
  • Fridays – MMA / Boxing.
  • Saturdays – Muay Thai.

What are the toughest challenges you are facing?

My challenges are dividing the training with my job, also not having a sponsor that allows me to dedicate 100% to kickboxing.

Do you have any upcoming competitions or sports events?

Yes I do! I will have a K-1 fight in the end of June in London. MMA – If I am ready, my 1st Amateur MMA fight (Mixed Martial Arts) is going to be in October in London.

WAKO Senior European Championships (K1) in Bilbao (Spain), October 2014 – Fighting for Great Britain.

What are your favourite sports?

Surfing is one of my favourite sports! Before, I started practising Kick-boxing; I was participating in surfing competitions.

Ricardo in action.

Who is your favourite athlete?

Honestly, different athletes from different sports inspire me, such as: K1 (Kickboxing) – Remy Bonjarky MMA – Demetrious Johnson Surfing – Tiago Pires and Mick Fanning.

What are your hobbies and interests?

When I have free time, I love to ride my long skateboard in the parks, as well surfing with my friends when I go to Portugal.

What are your plans for the future?

My plans are to train hard to be the number 1 fighter in my weight category in K1 and MMA. I want to fight in the biggest fight organisations such as, Glory World Series and UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship).


We are really pleased for Ricardo, who recently raised the funds he needed to enter the WAKO Championships! Here is what Ricardo had to say about it:

“I was over the moon when I reached my target! I did not know what to do! I was speechless. Honestly, I feel honoured in myself for accomplishing one of my goals, fundraising £1000 to represent Great Britain in the WAKO Senior European Championship Tournament in K1 Rules. The event is going to be between 18-28 October 2014 in Spain. As I have reached my target, I have to plan my training to be ready for this big European tournament. I cannot wait to go to Spain and compete!”

To find out more about Ricardo:

Visit his Facebook
Visit his Twitter
Visit his Instagram
Visit his Youtube

For more information on our High Performance Academy (HPA), contact the team using Facebook.